7th Jan 2014

Anne & Mark

1768

Mark and I grew up on the same street since we were eight years old, only five houses away. We were always friends and grew up walking home from the bus stop together while attending the same elementary, middle and high school. Maaaaybe I had a crush on him in 5th grade...maybe ;-) We became even closer friends on summer break during college and it turns out there was something much more. We became best friends through these years, and little did I know my best friend and future husband was sleeping down the road from me every single night.

Our engagement also turned out to be a surprise. My future sister in-law, Lauren, planned a surprise trip for Mark's mom's birthday to Jamaica. Lauren told Donna in November of our plans for the trip and we were all psyched about our Caribbean winter vacation that awaited us.  After our arrival, we said hellos to the family and got ready for dinner. Mark insisted that I come out on the balcony and have a drink. He pretended one of the chairs was broken, got down to fix it, and underneath the cushion was the ring. We took in the moment and the rest is history...we finished the night with toasts, mucho champagne, and Bob Marleys.

The Dress
I wanted to have my close family with me when I tried on wedding dresses for the first time. Of course like many brides, I searched online and discovered Augusta Jones. I was obsessed with AJ from the beginning. I fell in love with so many dresses. I knew it was meant to be. There was Carmel, Juno, Linda, Gale. The total on the list to try was 13! Finally there was Jessie.  It came down to two. My mother and mother in-law knew the winner before I did. It was then that I let Juno go and knew the Jessie was my match. I looked and felt like a bride. I wore Augusta Jones belt that added the perfect balance of simple and glam. Nicole from Nicole's Bridal Shoppe was the perfect host. She gave me great marriage advise along with the option to have removable lace cap sleeves for ceremony. I also believe in fate. My dog is a huge part of our life and his name is August, therefore it was fate as soon as I found AJ.  

Planning our wedding
Throughout our planning, I thought the theme of our wedding was rustic/romantic, however, I was wrong. Three months before our wedding day, it became clear to me the true theme was Neighbors. So many of our guests were mutual friends of ours that we've both known for significant periods of our lives. Our wedding took place in our home state of Pennsylvania and we planned from our new home in Atlanta, Georgia.  It wasn't easy being far from our wedding site but we were fortunate to have our mothers there to take on the planning and projects. It made our life easier being able to come home to both of them on Fir Drive and make visits to the venue at the same time. I immediately knew the palette would be soft greens and subdued purples to match the Donna Morgan Bridesmaids' dresses. We wanted a natural vibe, so the Appalachian Mountains in Pennsylvania were the perfect fit.  Our flowers left me speechless, our florist found the most amazing rose that matched the bridesmaids dresses beautifully and set the tone.  

The Wedding
Our wedding was on the most perfect June day. We really wanted to make our wedding a big party for everyone.  We had a surprise video montage, a beautiful vocalist, amazingly ridiculous photo-booth, big family polka, a loving anniversary dance and sincere and poignant speeches. When I think about all the people present that night, I'm extremely touched. By the end of the night, many of our guests told us it was the best wedding they've been to. Our mission was accomplished. I'm fortunate to have a day that went by all too quickly captured by Alison and Geoff, so I'll always have these still-frames of the moments where it all began.    

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Dress boutique: Nicole's Bridal & Formal Shoppe
Photographer: Alison Conklin

Photographer: Alison Conklin
Dress: Jessie by Augusta Jones
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